Hot, Crowded and Legal: A Look at Industrial Agriculture in the United States and Brazil
20 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2012
This essay examines the impact of industrial animal agriculture in the United States and Brazil. It surveys the respective regulatory environments in the two countries and discusses how they have enabled the spread of factory farming while taking little heed of its pernicious effects. The authors focus on the United States and Brazil for several reasons. First, the two countries are the first and sixth largest economies in the world, respectively. Second, both countries have very large agricultural sectors and play significant roles internationally. In addition, both countries have begun to address the issues raised by factory farming while yet having much work yet to do. Part II of this essay provides an overview of industrial agriculture and the major impacts of industrial agriculture on the environment, animals, and people, including problems specific to the United States and Brazil. Part III examines the history and current state of industrial agriculture in the United States, and the laws pertaining to industrial agriculture. Part IV examines the history and current state of industrial agriculture in Brazil and the laws, or lack thereof, related to industrial agriculture. Part V provides a comparative analysis of the legal regimes of the United States and Brazil. It concludes with the observation that, in spite of the normalization of animal products as an everyday commodity, the United States and Brazil must adapt their legal regimes to address the costs of industrial agriculture to the environment, animals, and people.
Keywords: animal law, agriculture law, industrial agriculture, factory farming, Brazil, comparative law, environmental law, food law
JEL Classification: H51, I12, I18, K10, K19, K20, K23, K40, K49, I50, N50, N56, Q10, Q18, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation